Part I: Research
- What do we call you?
- Where are you from?
- What brings you here?
- Degree program, area of specialty
- Where do you want it to take you?
- Research interests?
- Digital tools you use: Word processing, databases, electronic communication, email, instant messaging, website, blog . . .
- Areas of the course that most interest you?
- Project ideas?
Phil Agre, "Designing Genres for New Media: Social, Economic, and Political Contexts"
Jeremy Boggs, But I Want You to Think!
Kenneth M. Price, “Edition, Project, Database, Archive, Thematic Research Collection: What's in a Name?” 3, no. 3 (Summer 2009), http://www.digitalhumanities.org/dhq/vol/3/3/000053.html.
- Website Surveys
- Look over the following sites, and pick four on which to spend a significant amount of time. Make selections that help you think about "genre" in digital history. Please inform me of any sites you'd like to add to the list and the site on which you will focus your review by
Write and post to your blog an evaluation (500-1000 words) of one these sites, using the Journal of American History evaluation guidelines and, where relevant, drawing on some of the week's reading. Note especially the questions in the key areas of content, form, audience/use, and new media. The review assignments from our Jan. 15 meeting are in parentheses.
- Reverse-engineer one of these websites. Cohen and Rosenzweig, Digital History Chapters 2 & 4 can get you started. Some things to think about:
- Are the pages static or dynamic? If dynamic, what kind of scripting language(s) are being used?
- How (if at all) does the site use CSS?
- What kinds of multimedia elements are used?
- How well does the navigation function?
- Is there a database backend somewhere? How do you know?
January 29: The Future of Historical Narrative
One of the following:
- Keith Jenkins, "Introduction: on being open about our closures," in Jenkins, ed., The Postmodern History Reader (1997), ER.
Look up a historical topic of your choice in Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Britannica, and in one of the following internet search engines: Google, Yahoo, Excite, About.com, Alta-Vista, or Ask.com. Compare three digital treatments of your topic with a more conventional scholarly source, such as a journal article, monograph, or textbook. Use your blog to reflect on how the strengths and weaknesses of these resources illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of our core readings.
. I followed this up with an in class small group exercise using this
February 5: Databases, Small: Organizing Your Research
Guest: Kalani Craig
Moderator: Erika Dowell
Do the following tasks in the order you think most likely to help you figure out how to use a database in your own work. Your blog this week should comment on the resources you found most helpful for this undertaking, or which you think most likely to be of use to others. Please include links to any internet resources you explored. The diagram assigned under "creative work" can be done with paper & pencil.
- An article or monograph from your field, looking specifically for clues as to how the historian collected and organized information. Questions to ask as you read include:
- Do you think a database was used? Why/Why not?
- What kind of impact do (or could) digital tools have on this history?
- Could (or did) they improve the piece?
- Would (or did) the use of digital resources alter the kind of questions being asked?
- If a database or other new media are already employed, could the work have been done without them?
- Additional models of historical writing that used digital tools to organize and analyze sources. Read as much as needed to develop ideas for your own project. The following are examples from my field:
- Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. "Wheels, Looms, and the Gender Division of Labor in Eighteenth-Century New England." The William and Mary Quarterly 55, no. 1 (1998): 3-38 makes an argument about changing labor practices that rests on the ratio of wheels to looms in probate records. For examples of these sources, see:
- Lepore, Jill. New York burning : liberty, slavery, and conspiracy in eighteenth-century Manhattan. 1st ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2005. Look through her extensive appendices, and then try tracing some of this evidence there into her narrative.
- Fenn, Elizabeth A. Pox Americana : the great smallpox epidemic of 1775-82. 1st ed. New York: Hill and Wang, 2001. (For the use of GIS)
- Ayers, Edward L. In the presence of mine enemies : war in the heart of America, 1859-1863. 1st ed, The Valley of the shadow project. New York: W.W. Norton, 2003. Read a chapter of your choice, and let the footnotes take you into The Valley of the Shadow: Two Communities in the American Civil War
- Ulrich, Laurel Thatcher. The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth. New York: Vintage Books, 2001.
- Kalani Craig's digital portfolio
- Lives of bishops on her website
- Blog post on research tools
- Data mining:
- Investigate the Old Bailey archives and review Bill Turkel (Digital History Hacks May - July 2008) & Dan Cohen / CHNM "Scholarship in the Age of Abundance: Enhancing Historical Research with Text-Mining and Analysis Tools", NEH grant applicationon in OnCourse Resources.
Bill. Teaching Young
Historians to Search, Spider and Scrape. December 26,
- A resource that will introduce you to the technical concepts and language of database development.
- Identify a source from your own research that you think would benefit from organization in a database.
- Investigate at least three efforts to digitize similar sources. I've listed below some of the resources we discussed in class. You are encouraged to add other examples from your own web searches.
- For diaries:
- For newspapers:
- Go to the IUB Libraries home page and search their site for "newspapers." The Early American Newspapers & African American Newspapers (Accessible Archives) will be among the top results, but there are many others.
- Compare these with Lexis Nexis.
- Find another example on the web.
- Make a diagram depicting the different kinds of information found in your source, and the different ways in which they might connect to each other. Bring this to class.
February 12: Databases, Large - Commercial Resources
Guest: Celestina Wroth, IUB Research Librarian
Moderator: Allison Fredrickson
Overview from Celestina:
"My inclination for next week is to focus on how we use (or make useable) these immense collections of digitized materials. The kinds of metadata-centered approaches that librarians and archivists are advocating, are, I think, what historians would ideally like to see, but it also seems that these approaches don't easily scale up to the sheer quantity of material out there, and people like Gregory Crane think they're hopelessly outdated relics of the print world."
- Cohen, Daniel J., and Roy Rosenzweig. Digital History, Chapter 3 Becoming Digital
Gregory. “What Do You Do with
a Million Books?.” D-Lib Magazine 12, no. 3 (March,
- Tennant, Roy. "The Importance of Being Granular." Library Journal, 5/15/2002, Vol. 127 Issue 9, p32
- Dan Cohen, Is Google Good for History
- Paul Deguid, Is Google Good for History
- Geoff Nunberg, “Google Books: A Metadata Train Wreck”
Optional from last time:
Sandler, Mark. "Academic and Commercial Roles in Building 'the Digital Library'." Collection Management; 2003, Vol. 28 Issue 1/2, p107-119.
a specialized online archive and review it carefully. Then do a search for similar sources in Google Books. Post on
blog ("archives/research" and your name) an idea for a historical
research and writing project based on the particular archive that could not be carried
out--or at least not carried out easily--with a print-based archive. Comment
briefly on the structure, interface, search, and presentation of sources. Is
this a well-structured and user friendly archive? Comment also on any digital
tools (for search and discovery or analysis and organization or presentation
and display) that would make it easier for you to complete that research and
writing project. How does Google books fit into your research plan? Could it be a substitute for the more specialized archive? Does it supplement it?
The project doesn't need to be based exclusively on the online
resources but they should be a central feature. The goal of the exercise and
the reading for this week is to think about whether (and, if so, how) research
and writing will be different in the digital era.
Possible On-line Archives: [2010 Students - please pick an archives that suits your research needs]
All available through history electronic resource list: http://www.libraries.iub.edu/index.php?pageId=1000133
Evans Digital Edition
Sabin Americana 1500-1926 (Erika)
Early American Newspapers
ProQuest Historical Newspapers (Anya)
Library of Latin Texts (Carly)
Defining Gender Online
Making of Modern Law
Perseus Project http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/ (Adam)
Bibliothèque National de France’s (BnF) digital library Gallica http://gallica.bnf.fr/ (Erin)
British and Irish Women’s Letters and Diaries (Allison)
Aquifer American Social History on Line (Liz)
Emergence of Advertising in America
The Library Resource Page for my Marriage & the Nation class links to the archives I know best.
February 19: Digitization
Guest: Angela Courtney, IU Digital Libraries Project
Victorian Women Writer's Project
Willett, Perry. "The Victorian Women Writers Project: The Library as a Creator and Publisher of Electronic Texts," Public-Access Computer Systems Review 7.6 (1996): 5-16
Please post a question for our visitor by Tuesday of next week.
You can use your blog to reflect on the genre / research issues raised by the VWWP's history history and forthcoming upgrade. You can also use this as an opportunity to update us and ask questions about your own class project.
Jerome McGann, “Marking Texts of Many Dimensions,” in Companion to Digital Humanities (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture), ed. Ray Siemens, John Unsworth, and Susan Schreibman, Hardcover., Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Professional, 2004), http://www.digitalhumanities.org/companion/.
Thursday, February 25: Digital Humanities and Digital History
Joint Meeting with Ellen McKay's Class, 2:30-5:30, location TBA. We'll podcast this for those with conflicts.
Guest: Professor John Walsh
Moderator: Adam Olsen
reading / exercises:
March 5: Oral History and Film
Guest: Professor Jeff Gould
Moderator: Anya Quilitszch
Reading: Chapters from Jeff Goudl, To Rise in Darkness: Revolution, Repression, and Memory in El Salvador, 1929-32, Duke University Press, 2008. (see email message from instructor)
March 12: Copyright / Conversation about Final Projects
In your blog, please comment on the readings, but it should also outline your plans for your final project.
Pedagogy and the Public
March 26: Spatial History
Guest: David Bodenhamer, Director, Polis Center
David Bodenhamer, Book Chapters (via email) and The Spatialization of History (OnCourse Resources)
Bill Turkel, Place-Based Computing
Play with Google maps. Build a custom map for use in your research or teaching.
If you find additional resources / readings in your exploration, please send updates via email. (I know this site is so Web 1.0).
VCDH The Emancipation Project
April 2: Digital Pedagogy
Moderator: Tara Saunders
April 9: Project Week - No Class
April 16: Poster Sessions - Meet from 9:00 - 12.
April 23: Project Week - No Class
April 30: Practicing History in a Digital Age
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, "Erasing History," AHA Perspectives, May, 2009.
- Lynn Hunt, "How Writing Leads to Thinking (And not the other way around),"AHA Perspectives, February, 2010.
- Caroline Walker Bynum, "Teaching Scholarship," AHA Perspectives, December, 2009.
- Websites for courses Prof. Ulrich created as early experiments in using the web in the classroom:
- The NEH funded site based on Prof. Ulrich's A Midwife's Tale: Do History
Write and submit to the
Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org) an original entry for a topic that interests you but that
is not yet dealt with in the Wikipedia; or make a substantial intervention in one or more exisiting entries. Then write and post in your blog a discussion of why you chose the entry or entries you chose, how writing
for the Wikipedia was difficult or easy, which other topics you created links
to, and what responses you received.
In addition, observe and comment on another
historical community of your choosing.